Y.M.C.A. classes filling up quickly

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 12, 2003

Splishin' and splashin' is all that can be heard in the mornings at the Greenville Y.M.C.A.

Throughout the month of July, the nonnprofit organization will hold swim lessons for the area's youth.

"We're holding the classes to educate children about water, of water safety and to give kids a chance to swim," firstnyear pool manager and certified lifeguard Sonya Rice said. "A lot of children just don't get the chance to swim. If they come out they stay in the shallow; they can't go in the deep. I feel like the swimming lessons help them to, not only be able to swim all over the pool, but also to give them confidence and be good swimmers."

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Rice, a Greenville resident, said there isn't an age limit for participants, but they are broken up in groups based on their ability to swim. The twonweek classes are held Monday through Thursday in the mornings and the evenings. Classes for ages six and up are held from 8 a.m. until 8:40 a.m., from 8:45 a.m. until 9:25 a.m. and from 6 p.m. until 6:45 p.m. Classes for Ages three to five years old are held from 9:30 a.m. until 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.

"You may have a child that's 14nyearsnold that's never been in the water and then you've got a child that's a six year old that can kind of swim," Rice said. "So what we do is a swimming test before they start and then divide them into groups with the instructors."

Y.M.C.A. Executive Director Amanda Phillips said that participation this summer has been "great" and credits the lifeguards.

"We've had nothing but compliments from the kids that are taking lessons and from the parents," Phillips said. "This year we have a lot of new lifeguards. They went to the Montgomery Y.M.C.A. and took a certification course on how to teach swimming lessons. All of our lifeguards are young people and it gave them really good pointers on how to deal with children and how to communicate with the parents."

Swim test also are held on a daily basis for open swimming. Rice said if a child can swim across the pool they get a green wristband and have access to all the pool. If a child can't swim across the pool, they get a red wristband and are limited to the shallow end.

"We've been really packed every session," Rice said. "We've had a good response. We have at least five children per instructor and we have three instructors for each session. We've had to make people wait for the next session to start."

Several kids have participated in every swim lesson session. Rice said that most are in daycare at the Y.M.C.A. and their parents pay for them to be in every session. She said signs of improvement in the swimmers are evident daily.

"Two of them are now on the swim team," Rice said. "They're swimming well enough to join the team so that you do nothing but strokes and competition."

Swim lesson participants in the three to five year old age group include, Bailey Coker, Alex Haire, Julianne Oliver, Meagan Boggan, Dylan Giddens, Brandon Godwin, Dustin Bundy, Kara Halford, Samantha Akkerman, Kenny Harden, Dallas Sloane, Jarrod Johnson, Mollie Boutwell, Ashley McKeown, Daniel McKeown, Daniel Nami, Reagan Smith, Brandon Blackmon, Candace Conway, Sarah Langston and Titus Carpenter.

Swim lesson participants in the six and up age group include, Brandon Burnette, Kayla Nolan, Joseph Longmire, Cordarius Longmire Jacob Katzev, Kodi Furr, Bethany Nolan, Hunter Owens, Richard Simmons, Shelby Simmons, Kimberly Godwin, Kennedy Boutwell, Wade Walker, Keondra Carter, Jamere Crenshaw, Jemeshia Crenshaw, Jasmine Hartley, Justine Hartley, Brittany Hartley, Keondra Carter, Reginald Bennett, Danny Bell, Aaliyah Crenshaw, Brittney Crenshaw, Daquan Crenshaw, Shakinya Lawrence, Kalirah Mobley, Willie Mobley, Zariana Mobley, Artillaya Moorer, Christopher Cobb and Tyler Gomez.

Registration fees for Ynmembers is $15 and $50 for nonnmembers.

For more information, call 382n0550.